Assistant Professor

I’m a limnologist specializing in phytoplankton community ecology and carbon biogeochemistry. My research focuses on the role of disturbance in driving lake ecosystem function across space and time. I am interested in how anthropogenic disturbance (watershed land use, climate change) drives algal community assembly and cyanobacteria bloom formation, linking fine scale physiological mechanisms with ecosystem and landscape scale processes. My lab group integrates paleolimnological approaches with ecological theory, experimental manipulations, and high-frequency monitoring to understand and define community assembly rules and feedbacks across scales.

I am originally from Miami, Florida, and grew up in rural north Georgia. I attended Miami-Dade Community College, then completed a BS in Biological Sciences at Florida International University in Miami. My MSc thesis at Trent University (Ontario) focused on organic matter cycling and trace metal stoichiometry in shallow lakes. At Iowa State University, my PhD research investigated the phenology of cyanobacteria blooms and carbon flux in agricultural lakes. In the Rubenstein School, I teach Limnology (NR 250), Ecology of Freshwater Algae (NR 295), and Environmental Science (ENSC 1).


Mindy Morales-Williams

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Instructional programs: Environmental Sciences; Natural Resources; Sustainability, Ecology and Policy
Research: Limnology, phytoplankton ecology, biogeochemistry, carbon cycling, lake ecosystem ecology


  • Ph.D. Iowa State University 2016
  • M.Sc. Trent University 2011
  • B.S. Florida International University 2009


  • 802-656-8769
Office Location:

Aiken 312D, 81 Carrigan Dr.